Mary Earps Triumphs as BBC Women’s Footballer of 2023

Mary Earps Triumphs as BBC Women's Footballer of 2023
Mary Earps Triumphs as BBC Women's Footballer of 2023

England and Manchester United Women The BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year for 2023 is none other than women’s goalkeeper Mary Earps.

The 30-year-old’s achievements with the Lionesses over the past 18 months have made her a household figure amidst the exponential expansion of women’s football worldwide.

Earps earned the Golden Glove as the best goalkeeper at the 2023 Women’s World Cup after taking home a medal as the winners of Euro 2022. During the competition, she kept three clean sheets.

Mary Earps Triumphs as BBC Women's Footballer of 2023

In addition, four months after stopping Brazil’s Tamires during England’s Finalissima victory, Earps saved a second-half penalty from Jenni Hermoso in the championship match; however, the Lionesses would experience heartbreak as Spain won 1-0.

Even yet, the 30-year-old’s achievements received further individual recognition when she won England Women’s Player of the Year for 2022–2023 in addition to being voted Best FIFA Women’s Goalkeeper the previous year.

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In addition, Earps defeated current holder Bonmati to win the BBC honour and placed sixth in the poll for the 2023 Ballon d’Or Feminin, the highest placement of any English player.

Forward Samantha Kerr of Chelsea and Australia finished third in the voting; further nominees were Swedish attacker Fridolina Rolfo of Barcelona and German striker Alexandra Popp of Wolfsburg.

“I feel genuinely honoured. After being the first Man United player to receive the accolade, Earps told BBC Sport, “To be the first keeper to get their hands on the award is special and I am incredibly grateful.”

In addition to her achievements while wearing an England jersey, Earps was a standout player for Man United during the 2022–2023 Women’s Super League season. She won the Golden Glove award with four more clean sheets than Arsenal’s Manuela Zinsberger in 22 games.

The Red Devils qualified for the Champions League for the first time ever by finishing second in the standings, just two points behind champions Chelsea. They also finished second to Chelsea in the Women’s FA Cup.

Off the pitch, the England player was instrumental in getting Nike to change their mind about not selling ‘Earps’ replica jerseys, even though she acknowledged that she thought Ballon d’Or winner Bonmati would win.

“To be honest, I believed Bonmati could win. What a player, really, Earps said. This year has been filled with a lot of events. Of course, there has been the World Cup. Everything that has happened with the goalkeeper shirts has happened to us.

“It seemed like I had the entire goalkeeper union behind me. Not just that, but a great deal of public and widespread support. United had a fantastic season the previous year. I believe that the past year and two have been amazing. I’m just trying to make the most of everything really.”

Although the Red Devils’ inaugural Champions League campaign ended prematurely with a 4-2 aggregate loss to Paris Saint-Germain in the second qualifying round, Earps has already preserved three clean sheets for Man United this season.

Earps is now training with the England team in preparation for their Women’s Nations League matches against Scotland on December 5 and the Netherlands on December 1 of next month.

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